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Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 187

A Defence of Poetry by Percy Bysshe Shelley discusses the role of poets. The author was an English Romantic poet. Shelley asserts that poetry should not have rules and that poets should only express the truth regarding humanity and inform people on how to improve their quality of life. One of the major themes in the essay is truth. The author makes strong correlations between the reality of life and the role of poets. He holds the view that for poets to be interesting and captivating, they must write based on personal experiences.

Shelley argues that poetry is innate and anyone can be a poet. He notes,

Poetry, in a general sense, may be defined to be ‘the expression of the imagination’: and poetry is connate with the origin of man.

I do not agree with the author’s views about poetry being innate. I believe that poetry is an art and requires a high degree of artistry. Despite this, the artist makes a valid argument when he claims that poetry should go beyond skill and focus on other human elements, which are acquired from different experiences.

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